Airbus Germany has recently purchased a second Vicon motion-capture system for tracking human interaction with virtual models of proposed new planes, including the Airbus 380. Airbus Germany's Virtual Reality department is using both Vicon VCam (0.3 million pixel camera with powerful strobes) and SVCam (low-impact, unobtrusive small format camera) systems to enable engineers to interact with new planes before building practical prototypes. This is the same motion-capture system used on THE POLAR EXPRESS, TROY and CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY.
Primary research is being done using a 10 VCam setup installed in a three-sided CAVE environment, which is 7 x3x3 meters. Engineers working within the CAVE view a fully three-dimensional image that they can walk around and fly through from any angle. Vicon's tracking solution enables the projection system to change the viewing perspective based on the engineer's head position. In addition any number of body parts or tools can be tracked to increase the level of interaction with the 3D environment using Vicon's reflective tracking markers. These virtual fly-throughs of planes enable engineers to visualize everything from cabin layouts to plumbing, fuel systems and electronics.
The Airbus VR department creates virtual simulations of human models interacting with planes in support of the engineering teams and the manufacturing department. The resulting movies are used to illustrate assembly scenarios and maintenance techniques of various models of Airbus planes to engineering staff around the world before the final product is even built. By using 3D animation, the VR department can visualize intricate details of the aircraft from camera angles that would be impossible to convey outside of the virtual realm. Additionally, Airbus Germany will be using a small, low-profile Vicon SVCam system as part of a new project, allowing engineers to interact in parts of planes virtually to investigate the interiors of certain jet models.
"Vicon systems are designed to provide the sub-millimeter accuracy that customers like Airbus depend upon when engineering groundbreaking new models such as the Airbus 380," commented David Lowe, business development manager, Vicon. "When human interaction with an object or environment is required with exacting specifications, Vicon motion tracking provides the utmost in dependability."
Vicon's motion capture solutions consist of high-resolution, high-frame-rate cameras built by Vicon specifically for motion tracking. VCam and SVCam cameras are powered and driven by a datastation that processes video from multiple Vicon cameras and powers the strobe lights used to illuminate the small and lightweight reflective markers that serve as tracking points on a subject. Systems can be configured to incorporate a variety of the company's cameras for any application or environment. Vicon products are used within life science and engineering markets for such applications as biomechanics, data visualization, virtual prototyping, manufacturing and design and in entertainment markets for 3D character animation in games, film and television.
Vicon Motion Systems (www.vicon.com) is a subsidiary of OMG plc with global headquarters in Oxford, U.K., and U.S. headquarters in Lake Forest, CA. OMG subsidiary 2d3 Ltd. produces innovative visual geometry software deriving 3D data from moving images. Since 1984, Vicon has been providing professionals with the latest tools to accurately capture the subtleties of three-dimensional human motion for research, medicine, sport, engineering, game development, broadcast and film.